The Chemistry of Watermelon

Introduction

Watermelon is loved and known everywhere. I first tried watermelon when I was little and from there on I have always loved it, I would consider it my favorite food. Watermelon is known all around the world, most people know that watermelon have a lot of water in it what most people do not know is that it contains a lot more nutrients. Watermelon and the nutrients found within changed my view on fruit, from now on I will cherish watermelon even more.

Composition of ...

  • Citrulline C6H13N3O3

  • Arginine C6H14N4O2

  • Phenolic antioxidants (simplest one) C6H5OH

  • lycopene C40H56

  • Vitamin A

  • Lutein

  • Zeaxanthin C40H56O2

  • Cryptoxanthin C40H56O


Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Citrulline: C6H13N3O3

Citrulline is found everywhere in the body and is something we need. Citrulline is found as a nonessential amino acid and antioxidant, when you ingest watermelon your body then breaks it down and converts it into arginine. Arginine has a key role in the body, it helps you heal faster, it helps with cell division, and removing of ammonia. The amount of citrulline varies with each fruit and can be found in pretty much every part of the fruit, including the seeds. Something interesting is that they found more citrulline in yellow or goldish watermelons rather than reddish and more ripe kinda, as well as the rind contains more than any other part. Citrulline can Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, fatigue, muscle weakness, sickle cell disease, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, bodybuilding, increasing energy, and improving athletic performance.


Lycopene:  C40H56

Lycopene is a natural red pigment found in watermelon and many other fruits, it is also a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene is found to help prevent heart disease, atherosclerosis, breast and prostate cancer. Lycopene fights free radicals that destroy cells in our body, it is very important to our bodies. Doctors recommend that you take 9 milligrams of Lycopene a day, or eat a healthy amount red fruits and vegetables. You can ingest too much, and that would result in an orange-hued skin color, it is not dangerous and one you reduce your intake your skin will go back to it’s normal color. Overall lycopene is very healthy for you. It does not occur in your body naturally so you must either take pills or eat fruit to make up for its loss.

Chemistry's Role

Lycopene is man-made and it is naturally occurring. Lycopene occurs in red fruits and can be made into pills. You can find it naturally in red fruits, like watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruits, apricots, red oranges, and rose hips. How you extract lycopene from the fruits is you begin by crushing them and then extract it from the juices. Citrulline can be found in watermelon, it is mainly in the rind and it is better if the watermelon is not as ripe. There are many types of Citrulline some can be found in pills that deal with helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, sickle cell disease and much more. They can create Citrulline as well as extract it from the fruits. So in the end citrulline can be manmade and naturally occurring. Watermelon is naturally made it grows from a seed and then absorbs and chemically ripen to where we can eat it. Watermelon is extremely healthy for you, and is a good source of water intake.

Background Research

There are many different views for where watermelon originated. The most common belief of where they originated from is Africa, where it was found a little over 5,000 years ago. Later on it spread to Europe and then to China where it became the number one producer of watermelon. Watermelon is a fruit made up of 92% water, it also contains citrulline, arginine, phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamin C

Resources

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/150821-watermelon-fruit-history-agriculture/

Found 5,000 years ago

Originated from Africa to Europe

http://www.watermelon.org/Kids/Watermelon-Facts

Fun Fact:

watermelon is made up of 92% of water.

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/watermelon.html


Components of watermelon

Cryptoxanthin

Zeaxanthin

Lutein

http://www.livestrong.com/article/465041-watermelon-citrulline/

Citrulline is very important to the body

http://agresearchmag.ars.usda.gov/2002/jun/lyco

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03368/Lycopene.html

Lycopene and how it helps the body

http://chemistry.about.com/cs/biochemistry/a/aa050401a.htm

How lycopene is created

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1245-l-citrulline.aspx?activeingredientid=1245&

Citrulline and how it is created

About the Author
Zoe Wolf is an soccer All-state athlete for high school two years in a row. She is a senior at Billings Senior high and enjoys learning about psychology, and how chemistry affects the brain. Zoe will be attending Highline in Des Moines and will be playing soccer two years there. After that she will be transferring to MSU to pursue her nursing career in either pediatrics or ER.
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